October in the Archives

October was a busy month for the CHS manuscript catalogers. As part of our NHPRC grant funded project, we completed over 120 entries for the online catalog! Here are some of the highlights.

Three of the entries pertain to the Hartford Bridge Company (Account Book collection/Ms 32203,32205,32206) . CHS has a number of items from the Hartford Bridge Company, so while these particular lists of stock shares and tolls collected may not be the most exciting information in our archives,  the company as a whole could make an interesting research topic.

In the spirit of Halloween I will mention the Boston and Albany Railroad Co. Surgeon’s record (Ms. 36423).  This is a record of incidents occurring on railroad property.  Each entry contained the name of the injured individual, their position with the company, what happened,and where they resided (if they survived). Injuries reported included fingers being crushed, ankles being twisted, and more gruesome occurrences, such as bowels being torn open.

What happened in 1802 that caused many members of the Turkey Hills Ecclesiastical Society of East Granby to leave the society and join the Episcopal church? Perhaps the answer is among the Society’s papers (Ms. 100769). Dating between 1737 and 1910, the papers include meeting minutes, treasurers’ accounts, a record of admissions, births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, correspondence, statements of admissions and withdrawals,  documents related to inviting or dismissing pastors, warnings of society meetings, financial records, sales of slips and pews, and documents related to disciplinary actions taken by the society, including complaints, responses to allegations, confessions, and testimony.

Upon her 1862 graduation from the Hartford Female Seminary, Annie B. Wadsworth‘s mother gave her an autograph book (Ms. 46297). A precursor to today’s yearbooks, Annie filled the pages with photographs of her Seminary classmates and gathered their signatures.

In 1845 Sarah Coit Day and her daughter Catherine traveled to the Brattleboro (Vermont) Water-Cure for treatment. Day kept a journal (Ms. 47047), writing about taking tepid baths, walking, the view of the Connecticut River, and other people who were also at the facility. Though not mentioned in the journal, the Brattleboro Water-Cure was attended by many well-to-do people, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and her sister, Catharine Beecher.

Just a quick update to a previous post… Rich, our fearless Head of Collections, sent along this bit of information regarding Solomon Porter:  Solomon Porter also became surveyor and and collector of revenues for the port of Hartford in the 19th C.  He was also engaged in the West Indies trade. We have a nice miniature of him in the collection, as well as one or two portraits of his lovely daughter Rebecca Porter Conner. By the way, he married his first cousin!

This Satuday, November 7, is the first Saturday of month. Here at CHS that means FREE admission from 9am to 1pm. Come visit! And while you are here, become a member!!

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